By Breeanna Hare, CNN
(CNN) – On Tuesday, Darius Rucker’s fellow musician and friend Brad Paisley gave him some great news: Rucker’s been invited to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.
“It’s been clear from the moment Darius first stepped on our stage in 2008 in what high regard he holds the Grand Ole Opry and similarly how much Opry fans love Darius’ music,” the Opry’s Vice President and General Manager, Pete Fisher, said in a statement. “He’s forged an incredible, diverse musical path which has led today to the top of the country charts. … We look forward to him becoming an official Opry member in just a couple of weeks.”
Rucker had just finished performing on the Opry stage when Paisley surprised him with the honor, and he told People magazine later that evening that at first he thought his pal was playing another prank.
After singing “Alright,” “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” and his new single, “True Believers,” 46-year-old Rucker took questions from the audience, and Paisley posed as fan No. 3.
For his first question, Paisley wanted to know whether Rucker was “still the worst poker player in the world,” and then for his follow-up, Paisley asked, “Would you like to be the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry?”
Rucker’s response was a stunned “Yes, I would!” as Paisley joined him on stage and encouraged the audience to “welcome him home everybody! This is his new home right here!”
After another song from Rucker and a performance from Paisley, the Grand Ole Opry’s newest inductee went back on the stage. “You guys got to share one of the most special nights of my life tonight,” Rucker said. “Thank you for opening your arms and letting me in.”
His induction into the Grand Ole Opry will air live October 16 on GAC at 8 p.m. CT, and new music is soon to follow. Rucker’s third solo country album is slated to arrive in early 2013.